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Can anyone recommend a disability lawyer? (WA state or else where)

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by ratmom, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. ratmom

    ratmom

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    @Stretched

    Good news is that we haven't locked in with this lawyer yet or anything. We had a TERRIBLE connection on the phone asking the questions we wanted and he already lost me at the $500 an hour part and then something about how we can pay him monthly from our payments. I only heard every other word of his call. At this time, I simply feel I have the capacity to at least start this process by myself for now and deal with the lawyer later if needed. The great people here have outlined a ridiculous amount of ways we can go about this process and I plan to be as thorough and broad with our testing and information gathering as possible.

    Truly grateful to all of you for the help.
     
    Silencio and Stretched like this.
  2. Silencio

    Silencio Senior Member

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    @ratmom some less scrupulous lawyers will take a percentage of settlement and a percentage of future benefits. Do not agree to this. Only agree to a percentage of settlement (which will be benefits up to the date you win appeal). You have 180 days to appeal once denied, and I think they must respond within 2 months. So, 8 months approximately. As I mentioned, the lawyers will often take the full 180 days to prepare and submit the appeal. I don’t know if they do this so they get the most money possible or if they just have too much work and need all that time.

    Yes, it is crazy that you must give away half his pay, the whole thing is unfair and ERiSA law favors the insurers. Apparently disability policies that are purchased by an individual, not a group policy purchased by an employer, are much safer as they are not governed by ERiSA. But no one tells you this when you are deciding wherher or not you need a disability policy and you think “oh I’m covered by my work one”.

    Other things to look into since you are talking about moving country —
    1. Get your policy and check that there are not restrictions on you leaving country. Some policies do not have a restriction.

    2. Lookup the tax laws of that country. You may have to speak w an accountant before you leave. In the US, if you paid some of you own premiums, only the percentage of benefits corresponding to your employers premiums are taxable. Some countries do not make that distinction and tax 100% of benefits. Other countries do not tax Ltd benefits at all, or have favorable expat tax regimes.

    It’s very frustrating about the doctors notes, the waits etc, the lack of specialists. Honestly, the first two years for me were such high stress bc of all those things. But you two sound very organized... He’s lucky to have you!
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
    Stretched likes this.
  3. Stretched

    Stretched Senior Member

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    U.S., Southeast
    Sounds like there may be grounds for a malpractice suit against your abandoning lawyers. Call around and ask for the one or two maverick firms who will (or do, regularly) sue other lawyers. If you’ve got a clear cut case they should take it on contingency. You may have to get another opinion as to how winnable your malpractice case is. FYIW, don’t let them walk all over you with no respect!
     
  4. Stretched

    Stretched Senior Member

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    I feel for you as I understand exactly where you are - in a catch-22 situation. Realize this: you can’t afford the best lawyers; maybe a few of the firms of 4-5 lawyers who can be a lot less costly and a good chance here and there for a 1 or 2 person firm working with some altruism. So, write off the first 2 types and see if you can stumble on a couple of small firms who are interested, even though they lack experience. It’s a trick finding one and you’ll have to suck it up and just try.

    You’ll need to call a few Erisa like big companies and ask if they have seen any young legal upstarts. Get details. Call closest University, as sometimes these types work as adjunct profs while building a practice. You can try dept of insurance or business law (good option). Or, there might be a law school nearby you can also call on. Lastly, you can dig up a couple of legal aid contacts, who often do work pro bono, listed as legal aid societies. (I’ve got a 50-year-old niece who practices nonprofit - with altruism, otherwise $500/hr, tired of the rat race.)

    It will take you a few weeks to get through this regimen but you will get a lot of respect, likely a lead. Then, all you need is this barrister to take your case on a flat fee basis. Consider the total gain you might otherwise be entitled to. DOA, fee slould reflect some %. Also, consider the # of hours the lawyer will have to research and write up. That’s a fine balance. Don’t expect her or him to work minimum wage, even though s/he won’t bill it all. OTOH, if they tell you they can ‘work it in’ in 40 hours then $3-$5000 is a bargain. One other note on fees: you may collect something of value which you can barter with. Ask, e.g. gems, gold or silver coins, or diamond rings, antiques, paintings, firearms.

    You’re off on a challenge. Make it unique to you; learn and have some fun along the way. I almost want to coach you but I’ve had my share of battles and almost all turned out successful, albeit not without pain and anxiety. You can do it, too. Best wishes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  5. Silencio

    Silencio Senior Member

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    A member who doesn’t post PM’d me to ask if I’d share this with you, @ratmom:

    Another good resource for ERISA claims is Linda Nee's blog. https://lindanee.wordpress.com/
    Linda is a former LTD insurance claims supervisor who, in addition to her blog, also does consulting services.
    She seems to help out earlier when first filing an LTD claim than many ERISA attorneys.
    Here's a couple of good ones:
    https://lindanee.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/social-media-is-used-to-deny-claims-dont-do-it/

    https://lindanee.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/nix-to-social-media-while-on-claim/

    https://lindanee.wordpress.com/2015...re-reasons-for-getting-everything-in-writing/

    Here's a good one for Ratmom
    https://lindanee.wordpress.com/2013...es-in-filing-erisa-group-disability-benefits/
     
  6. Desertstorm

    Desertstorm

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    I got SSDI based on years of records, my docs writing letters of concurance and using the VA disability evidence. What happened amazed me, full approval without a lawyer in three months.

    In terms of applying for CFS disability I strongly encourage anyone to google the VA website pages on CFS and gulf war illness. There are also veteran forums that detail how others have filed for benefits that can be googled looking for GWI. You may not be a vet, but the information is very valuable.
     

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